Tried & Tested - How Will I Know?

Kuhashvini Rajasegar of Cosmetic Surgery & Beauty Magazine reports on how it actually feels to undergo some of the most popular aesthetic treatments on the market today.

Cosmetic Surgery & Beauty Magazine - January 21, 09:46 AM

In the past, I couldn’t even dream of being in the shoes of people who were able to go for pricey beauty procedures. Now, here I am, doing it as part of my job, trying my best to uphold the trust placed in the publication with integrity and honesty. 
A minefield of pimples and acne scars has plagued me ever since my years as an adolescent. My face has been subject to almost every facial wash under the sun. I finally came to believe that the only way I would ever have a blemish-free face was to splurge on expensive concealers. So of course I jumped when Queen’s Avenue Clinic offered me a go at getting rid of my blemishes.
 
Electric Dermal Roller with Queen’s Avenue Clinic
 I had an appointment, and I was really looking forward to it, but I was in the dark about what was going to be done. Dr. Elizabeth Lee and Dr. Nicole Lee Peck Kuan looked at my face from every angle possible and then said, “An electric dermal roller would do the trick.” At that moment, I felt a chill down my spine. An electric dermal roller sounded terrifying, but I was so tired of having to wear makeup every single time I stepped out, that I decided to take the plunge. 
I anxiously made my way to the treatment room where Mr. Christopher kindly explained the ins and outs of the treatment. The aesthetician started off with a cleanse before applying a generous amount of topical numbing cream. She then dimmed the lights, switched on some 1980s slow jazz and told me it would take 30 minutes for the cream to work. I then did what any responsible employee would do in my position. I napped. 
When she returned, the aesthetician washed my face and started the actual treatment using the electric dermal roller. When the electric rod actually touched my skin, I couldn’t help but heave an euphoric sigh of relief. I felt absolutely no pain! In reality it was like getting a face massage. The aesthetician very gently moved the rod in circular motions around my entire face, especially my problem areas (cheeks and forehead). It took just 20-30 minutes for the entire treatment. 
I glanced over at a mirror, not expecting much visible improvement. But I was over the moon at my reflection. Just a single treatment managed to do what a lifetime of facial scrubs could not! To add to my joy, the aesthetician told me that in seven days I would see an overall improvement in my skin condition, especially a reduction in oiliness. I was cautioned against exposing my skin to direct sunlight for the best results. 
I found that as time passed, my acne scars dramatically decreased. At the seven day mark, I could not wait to take an ‘after’ picture of my newly-treated face. Family and friends started to notice the tangible improvement of my skin. This gave me the impetus to embark on a proper skincare regiment in the hopes of prolonging the positive effects. 
 Skin Lightening with Dual Yellow Laser
 Before anyone pounces at me for lightening my skin because they think I am ashamed of my Asian heritage; take a breather. Growing up in Malaysia and being the girl that didn’t mind kicking a ball or two under the scorching sun, my skin paid the price for my early tomboy days. The UV rays without a doubt took a toll on my skin, causing me to suffer the bane of skin discolouration before I even knew what it meant. I have never really let it bother me too much, although there are times, especially in my vainer moments when I just sit  down for hours, Googling various solutions to this predicament. 
While writing an advertorial on Dual Yellow for the previous issue, I realised that it could be a solution to finally getting to the bottom of my skin pigmentation issues. My session was at My Clinic in Uptown, Damansara. Upon arrival the friendly staff asked me to have a seat and I couldn’t help but notice just` how busy the clinic was. I was then invited to Dr. Hoe Yut Hung’s consultation room to discuss my skin condition and how I would benefit from Dual Yellow treatments. After taking a long, hard look at my skin, Dr. Hoe said, “I don’t think a single treatment would be enough, let’s do two spaced between two weeks and you’ll see a bigger improvement.” 
Dr. Hoe Yut Hung of My Clinic
The aesthetician, Brenda, started off with a thorough cleanse followed by a generous slather of a transparent gel that had a slight cooling effect on my face. With cucumbers over my eyes, Brenda directed a bright laser beam over my face. As she was moving the handpiece gently over my face, she explained to me that Dual Yellow distinctly emits two lasers at different wavelengths of light, a yellow and green light. The green light has the perfect wavelength at 511 nm to effectively treat skin discolouration by reducing the production of melanin, the substance that creates pigmentation of the skin. 
If I were to say that the treatment with Dual Yellow was a hundred percent pain-free, it would be a blatant lie. In truth, it felt like a slight prickling sensation, especially on my forehead and cheeks where my skin was most affected. Despite some minor discomfort, it was extremely tolerable to the point that Brenda and I chatted the entire 15 minutes of treatment. I was ready to leave after the laser when Brenda said there was one last step and this was the icing on the cake – a soothing face mask. This was undoubtedly my favourite part. A cooling whitish-green mask was placed on my face and I was left to take a 20-minute snooze. 
Brenda then returned to the treatment room to remove the mask and schedule my next session for two weeks later. Because there was zero downtime involved, I was able to apply some light makeup and leave for work.  
I was extremely satisfied with the outcome after my second treatment with Dual Yellow although I was warned that the results wouldn’t be jaw dropping with just two sessions. Post-procedure, I found my face to not only be baby-butt smooth, but also noticeably brighter, with more even skin tone, especially on my problem areas. Unsurprisingly, the discolouration on my face showed a significant reduction and I’m glad that the results have lasted till today. 
I genuinely have nothing but raving reviews for Dual Yellow and cannot thank Dr. Hoe and his amazing staff enough for their hospitality and the treatments. 
 
Body Contouring with Accent Prime
It’s time for me to come clean. I have never treated my body like a temple. I have put my body through fad diets and have failed time and time again by either gorging on unhealthy Malaysian treats or sneakily eating McDonalds Big Macs at midnight. I am definitely feeling the pressure to make a lifestyle change. I cannot ignore the signs of my poor choices any more. I phoned the Director of HealMatrix Sdn. Bhd., Danny Leong straightaway and asked to sample one of their best body contouring devices. He graciously allowed me to try out Accent Prime. I was beyond excited. 
Mr. Danny Leong, Director of HealMatrix Sdn. Bhd.
I walked into Idealyst Clinic and was immediately led to the treatment room where my measurements were taken. While this was all done, the aestheticians, Lee Zie and Fatien took their time to give me an inside on the ins and outs of Accent Prime. Utilising ultrasound and radio frequency, Accent Prime can target adipocytes (cells that are primarily composed of adipose tissue) and tighten collagen, producing effective and long lasting results. Since I’ve heard of this brand before, I knew I was in good hands and expected nothing short of a great outcome.
Before treatment began, Lee Zie wiped skin oils and grease from my abdomen while Danny went to set up the machine to the appropriate setting for my body. Because I opted for treatment on my abdominal area, the UltraSpeed handpiece was used. This applicator features a plate type sonotrode that emits guided ultrasonic waves through concentric profiles to homogenously heat the targeted tissue, effectively disrupting stubborn fat cells while leaving the surrounding tissues unharmed. Lee Zie then lathered on a transparent thick gel while I fidgeted nervously, imagining the pain I had to endure for the next hour or so, considering how big my problem was, literally. She either felt my nerves from across the room or read my mind because she laughed and said, “There’s nothing to worry about, it’s painless.” And she was right! I am not lying at all when I say that it felt like a warm massage when the UltraSpeed was moved in circular motions all around my stomach. Lee Zie and I were chatting away when I heard the timer go off and she said, “Okay, all done.” I looked at my watch and was shocked that the treatment only took 20 minutes. She then explained that with UltraSpeed, treatment time is greatly reduced due to the revolutionary technology that comes with this applicator. 
I was warned pre-treatment that a single session with Accent Prime wouldn’t be enough to cut the gut but I would see satisfying results seven days post-procedure. And true enough, I did. To be extremely candid, immediately after the treatment I was a little disheartened that the outcome wasn’t what I hoped it would be. But it was all made up for when I saw an almost four inch decrease in my lower abdomen area in just seven days. I took an after picture on the seventh day and compared it to the before and was extremely pleased with the results. Although the number on the scale didn’t budge, I definitely did lose girth. I obviously knew I wasn’t going to be beach-body ready in a single treatment. This for me was more of a stepping-stone to make healthier choices in the future. So thank you, Danny and the entire team, for not only allowing me to experience a superb treatment with Accent Prime, but also for giving me the platform to make a change in my lifestyle. 
Facial Contouring with Venus Viva and Botulinum Toxin 
I have a love-hate relationship with Kim Kardashian, but I cannot deny her the crown when it comes to having a perfectly contoured face. Her signature heavily shadowed hollows, high cheekbones and chiseled jawline have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years to the point that everyone I know is contouring as part of their regular makeup routine. I myself have tried to learn the tricks of the trade, but having a naturally round face; it gets extremely difficult for an amateur like me to achieve her sculpted look with just makeup. I was prepared to try something a little more invasive than just bronzers and highlighters, so I called up Dr. Anjalee Mohandas Nair to ask if I could try out one of her best facial contouring treatments, and she graciously obliged.  
Dr. Anjalee Mohandas Nair of Lyfe Clinic
I walked into Lyfe Clinic the next day and received a very warm welcome from Dr. Anjalee before being led into the treatment room almost right away. We exchanged pleasantries before she asked me to clench my jaw to palpate it. She immediately realised that I had masseter muscles with very different strengths on either sides. She told me to feel it for myself and true enough; it was extremely obvious that the left side was bulkier than the right and I had my own personal chewing habits to blame. 
After that, she spent almost half an hour briefing me on all the treatments that were available in her practice. The moment I heard her say Venus Viva, I knew that it would be the treatment I’d sample, not only because it’s FDA approved, but also because I wanted a gentle therapeutic procedure that would provide me immediate results with minimal downtime. 
Dr. Anjalee started off with a cleanse that followed with a spread of a transparent thick gel. Because of its microfocused fractional radiofrequency energy that deeply heats the skin rather than burn it like other laser devices, I knew that the treatment with Venus Viva was going to be a breeze. I sat back on the treatment chair as Dr. Anjalee guided a small probe that resembled a hair dryer in a step-wise fashion especially across my jawline. Although the fractional radiofrequency pulses emitted are ablative and cause very small microscopic pores in the skin of heated dead cells, I personally felt nothing. Within 15 minutes, it was done. I was ready to pack my things and head out for lunch when Dr. Anjalee expressed a lack of satisfaction in the final outcome. I glanced at a mirror nearby and although results were somewhat visible, they weren’t mind-blowing. Dr. Anjalee then revealed that a single treatment with Venus Viva would not be enough for me since my facial shape was more on the rounder side and offered to pair it with another procedure. She took a look at my face and asked me, “What about botox?”
I immediately felt a lump in my throat because not only was I newly introduced to the world of cosmetic procedures; I never imagined myself going through with any minimally invasive procedure because of my deathly fear of needles. Dr. Anjalee must have sensed my apprehensiveness because she patiently sat down and had a thorough talk with me about the ins and outs of getting botox. I’m not going to lie, it definitely did push me to bite the bullet and finally conquer my fear of needles. 
Before I could chicken out at the last minute, Dr. Anjalee slathered numbing cream on my jaw line (basically to give me the physiological confidence to go through with the injection). She then switched on the TV, played my favourite episode of Modern Family and left me to relax in that snug treatment room. After about half an hour, she stepped into the room with the syringe containing the botulinum toxin and I entered a panicked state. I sat up, shut my eyes and clenched my jaw. Within moments, Dr. Anjalee injected the botulinum toxin and truth be told, it was a mere two out of ten on the pain scale. She used a three-point injection technique and within minutes, it was all over. An ant has bitten me in the past and that was genuinely more painful than getting botox. I was pleasantly surprised. 
My face was visibly slimmer, and the shape of my face was now more oval than round post botox. Dr. Anjalee told me that the results get even better after 72 hours and that left me grinning from ear to ear. I ran my fingers down my jaw and I could feel the reduction in the bulkiness of it. I left feeling more Kim K than I ever thought I would, thanks to Dr. Anjalee for not only the amazing treatments, but also for giving me the push I needed to get over my fear of needles. 

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